Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books: the 2012 election is important because "this election year gives Republicans one of their last chances -- perhaps the very last one -- to put the seal on their plutocracy." Read the whole post. Thanks to Peter S. for the link.
Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein talk about reporting Watergate:
... There are more short video interviews, etc., on Watergate at this Washington Post page.
Neil Sinhababu: "if you're in an economy where there's massive unemployment and very little inflation, as you are, the Federal Reserve is to blame." CW: and I do.
Jeffrey Young of the Huffington Post: "One-tenth of one percentage point -- that's how much President Barack Obama's health care reform law will increase national spending on health care over 10 years so as to provide health insurance to almost 30 million who otherwise would not be covered, according to an independent government auditor."
Maureen Dowd covers the Jerry Sandusky trial. ...
... Jill of Brilliant at Breakfast was brilliant this morning. In a post on the overreporting of the Sandusky trial, Jill writes, "At a time when the Catholic Church is trying to hold undue influence over American health care policy regarding contraception, and when politicians from both sides of the political spectrum are giving this church all kinds of unwarranted deference simply because its clergy and its history claims some kind of direct conduit to the Great White Alpha Male in the Sky, I think it's worth asking what kind of moral authority a church hierarchy that has behaved like a massive criminal enterprise where child sex abuse is concerned can claim to have, and why anyone is even considering building policy around what these people want."
Mark Landler & Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times: "With evidence that powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters, the bloody uprising in Syria has thrust the Obama administration into an increasingly difficult position as the conflict shows signs of mutating into a full-fledged civil war. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Tuesday that the United States believed that Russia was shipping attack helicopters to Syria that President Bashar al-Assad could use to escalate his government's deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. Her comments reflected rising frustration with Russia...."
CW: we were discussing Jonathan Haidt the other day, & I wrote that I thought he was wrong on lotsa stuff. Comes now George Monbiot of the Guardian, who writes, "While the psychological findings [Haidt] presents are well-attested and thoroughly referenced, he offers not a shred of evidence to support his political contentions, either in the article or in his book. His claims are unsourced, unsubstantiated and plain wrong." More interesting: Monbiot argues that working-class people have not really turned to the right; they just don't vote.
Michael Stafford, an overwrought young man, announces he is leaving the Republican party because "the party has come unhinged.... Republican economic policies are also indefensible."
Matt Bai profiles former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who is running for Nebraska Senate after a 12-year hiatus, for the New York Times Magazine. ...
... If you read Bai, also read Alex Pareene of Salon, who does an excellent job of skewering both Bai & Kerrey: "It is incredibly instructive as a guide to the incredibly misguided priorities of the rich, moderate elite, and their very odd explanations for what, precisely, has gone wrong in American politics.... For Bai and Kerrey, the goal is the grand bargain itself. The grand bargain helps the system convince itself that the system works. Rich old moderates need to believe that only rich old moderates can save America."
Reid Epstein & Byron Tau of Politico: "President Obama went on the offense against Republicans and their nominee Mitt Romney, pushing back on the often-repeated accusation that his administration has ballooned the country's deficit":
It's like somebody goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, a martini and all that stuff, then just as you're sitting down they leave and accuse you of running up the tab. -- Barack Obama ...
... Steve Kornacki of Salon has a smart commentary on Obama's "epicurean analogy."
Andrew Leonard of Salon: "The difference between Obama and Romney's spending plans is the difference between reality and fantasy."
Murray Waas & Christopher Rowland of the Boston Globe: "Stifling [an anti-gay-bullying] guide's publication was among steps that Romney and his aides took during his last year in [the Massachusetts governor's] office to distance the Republican governor from state programs designed to specifically support gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people.... The move to block the bullying report immediately followed Romney's threat to shut down the Gay and Lesbian Youth Commission.... When he ran for Senate in 1994 against the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Romney boasted that he would be a more effective and outspoken proponent of gay rights than Kennedy...." ...
... Steve Kornacki: "The positions that Romney staked out in '94 and '02 put him in sync with the Massachusetts electorate, but what Mitt Romney the man actually thinks about gay issues is anyone's guess.... As a Republican president at the mercy of congressional Republicans, though, it's not hard to see how he'd approach the issue. Their agenda would be his agenda."
Kevin Drum: Romney lies because the media let him get away with it.
Andy Rosenthal thinks Willard is purposely confusing the facts to try to dance out of his "Who needs teachers & cops?" assertion. Rosenthal is probably right, but I think we should always bear in mind this possibility: Mitt Romney is not smart enough to understand economics.
Diane Ravich, in a New York Review of Books blogpost, eviscerates Mitt Romney's so-called education plan, which is a full right-wing, red-meat, extensive menu of policies to destroy public education. Read the whole post.
Right Wing World
Louie Gohmert, Goober Neurologist. Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon: "While most officials in Washington expressed concern for Commerce Secretary John Bryson after his seizure-induced car accidents this weekend, the inimitable Texas Republican Louie Gohmert used the health lapse to attack the Obama administration figure. 'That's who's in charge of keeping businesses going -- a guy who crashes his car from car to car,' the congressman told American Family Association Radio today. Gohmert also seemed to be skeptical of the news that Bryson had a seizure."
Josh Israel of Think Progress: "Even if Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) administration prevails in its new lawsuit against the Obama administration, his efforts to purge voters before November's election still faces a major obstacle -- the county elections supervisors, including 30 Republicans.... Republican Ann McFall, county supervisor of elections for Volusia County, told ThinkProgress that the lawsuit does not have her support and she will not resume purging voters before the elections, regardless of the suit's outcome."
New York Times: "President Obama presented Israel's president, Shimon Peres, with America's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, calling Mr. Peres 'the essence of Israel itself -- an indomitable spirit that will not be denied.'"
AP: "Federal prosecutors dropped all charges Wednesday against John Edwards after his corruption trial ended last month in a deadlocked jury."
AP: "Jerry Sandusky pinned down a foster child and performed oral sex on him, threatened to keep him from seeing his family if he reported what happened and then later told him he loved him, the accuser testified Wednesday. The man, now 25 and called Victim 10 by prosecutors, told jurors Sandusky assaulted him in the basement of the former Penn State assistant football coach's State College home in the late 1990s, then threatened to keep him away from his biological family."
New York Times: "Britain's coalition government came under renewed strain on Wednesday after its junior partner, the Liberal Democrats, threatened to withhold support for Prime Minister David Cameron's handling of events flowing from a failed bid by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to take full control of BSkyB, the country's biggest satellite broadcaster." Guardian story here. ...
... Guardian: "Sir John Major has claimed Rupert Murdoch demanded his government change its policy on Europe or his papers would oppose him at the 1997 general election."
Arizona Daily Star: "Democrat Ron Barber will finish the congressional term of his former boss, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Barber soundly defeated Republican Jesse Kelly by about 7 percentage points in Tuesday's Congressional District 8 special election." ...
... Reuters has a rundown of some of yesterday's primary results.
New York Times: "A coordinated series of attacks struck Shiite Muslims in the capital on Wednesday morning as they began gathering to mark the death of a revered imam who was the Prophet Muhammad's great-grandson."
AP: "[An Israeli] government report released Wednesday harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision-making in a deadly Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound ship two years ago, saying it was flawed and marked by superficial discussions." Haaretz story here.
He's Sorry He Lost Billions. AP: "JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon plans to apologize before members of Congress on Wednesday for a trading loss that has cost the bank more than $2 billion." ...
... New York Times Update: "JPMorgan Chase is 'likely' to try to recover compensation from executives responsible for a recent multibillion-dollar trading blowup, according to Jamie Dimon, the bank's chief executive. In testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee, Mr. Dimon assured lawmakers that the bank's board was investigating the trading losses...."
The Hill: "Senate Democrats blocked a resolution introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to introduce an outside special counsel to investigate a number of recent military and intelligence leaks."
Orlando Sentinel: "The judge who revoked George Zimmerman's bond did so after he determined that it was 'apparent' that Zimmerman's wife had lied under oath, and clear that Zimmerman 'does not properly respect the law.' Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond on June 1, but his written order was filed Monday. In it, Lester lays out his rationale."